The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

Congress giving money to their corporate pals

Nov 5, 2001

On October 24, the House of Representatives passed a bill to revoke the 1986 alternative minimum tax law and give BACK taxes paid by some of the largest corporations in the country. The 1986 law was an attempt to get corporations which made profits to pay some tax – “an alternative minimum tax” – when they managed to avoid all taxes – thanks to all the tax loopholes written for them by their friends in Congress.

It hasn’t passed the Senate yet, but even if the version passed by the House were to be cut back, it would still provide gigantic corporate give-aways.

The House bill would now give corporations back all the taxes they paid during the last 15 years under this “alternative minimum tax.” This would come to 25 billion dollars rebated back to the corporations. Ford Motor would get a refund of 2.3 billion dollars; GM would get a refund of 832 million dollars; DaimlerChrysler would get 600 million dollars; IBM would get 1.4 billion dollars; General Electric would get 671 million dollars; Enron, the famous “energy” conglomerate, would get 254 million dollars; Chevron Oil would get 314 million dollars.

What a gift – a real “shot of adrenaline,” according to the chairman of the House Ways and Means committee. The corporations have been quick to try to convince Congress the passage of this bill is necessary. September 11, it seems, harmed the economy.

No! They are simply using September 11 as a fig leaf behind which they try to hide their raid on the U.S. treasury.